Summer's in full swing but maybe you're like me and you haven't gotten around to fully setting up your outdoor space. It may be mid-July, but there's still enough time to create a dream oasis to enjoy the remaining long, warm summer nights.
For guidance, I tracked down Liz Klafeta, Founder and CEO of BANGTEL, after attending a party at one of her properties where guests couldn't stop talking about the uniquely styled backyard. Here's what she has to say.
Begin with a theme.
"Choosing a theme will help you pinpoint a certain style," says Liz. "It'll also help you fill in the design blanks more easily." Liz explains how choosing a Southwest Style for her Logan Square location in Chicago created a space where guests wanted to hang out in (a must if you love to entertain). Picking a theme allowed her to choose statement decor pieces that includes a real teepee from an Indian reservation that guests can't help but Instagram.
Can't settle on a theme? Think of what you have in your home and consider your patio as an extension of that look. Still stuck? Guide yourself by color. "You can never go wrong using black and white with pops of red," adds Caitie Smithe Jisa, Walter E. Smithe designer. "It's a timeless, stunning look."
Next up is the lights.
Globe string lights are a favorite for Liz. "It totally transforms the yard and mood," says Liz. "Lighting is everything, especially at night." Be cognizant of the distance from the outlet to the connection. If you want to avoid a running line of extension cords or don't have an outlet nearby, consider battery-operated lights.
Don't forget the floor.
Add dimension to the space by livening up the flooring (which pulls your eye to a different part of the space) says Liz. An outdoor rug (like this one) does the trick but consider something more creative like a design painted right on (think Aztec motif, colorful geometric shapes or keep things simple with alternating lines of color). If you're looking for something that's all weather, a vinyl rug is a great option.
Plan for plants.
If you want to avoid continuously buying plants year round, consider buying fake ones. Cactus and agave plants look great and the plastic option frees up your budget to spend on decor. They also hurt less than the real thing, should you bump into the prickly plant. They look amazing and last a long time says Liz.
Let your personality dictate your furniture choices.
When it comes to buying outdoor seating, Caitie recommends asking yourself 'how do you like to entertain?' If you prefer large gatherings then maximize seating. Outdoor sectionals are perfect option for this she says. For intimate gatherings with a small group of friends, pick up something circular like a cocktail table or fire pit to bring everyone together. If you love a table and it's too small, don't be afraid to buy two pieces and assemble as you see fit. It's what Liz did to create seating for 12, and according to the experts, the following weeks are the perfect time to snatch up marked down items.
The most important part is to have fun mixing and matching items that fit your style and how you entertain. The perfect place is wherever good friends and laughter gather.
Style Me Pretty Contributor - Ximena N. Larkin is a writer and publicist who resides in Chicago with her husband and dog. ximenabeltran.com